At Kingsley Community School we believe that writing is a fundamental life skill; it is a process of communication that plays an important role in a child’s life – both in and outside of the classroom. Children come to our school with a variety of home languages and different levels of English language skills which we extend and deepen through a range of activities which are taught discretely and as part of other subjects. Writing is taught in combination with speaking and listening as well as reading a variety of good quality model texts.
Writing is such a key part of our learning at Kingsley that we are taking part in the Liverpool Writing Quality Mark. This award is presented by School Improvement Liverpool to schools who
- champion writing for enjoyment
- want to improve writing across the school
- to work with other schools and form writing partnerships
Watch this space for any new and exciting developments!
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We aim that children will:
- Have an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
- Understand a range of genres – be able to write in a variety of styles and structures appropriate to the audience and purpose.
- Develop the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
- Have suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.
- Write extended pieces of text.
- Develop fluid and well formed handwriting
- Compose accurate and meaningful writing for a variety of purposes across the curriculum and beyond.
- Develop an enjoyment of writing.
Check out our news articles for both workshops here:
Writing takes place within:
|English Lessons||Genre Writing/Big Write||Cross-Curricular Writing|
|4 daily English lessons as usual following the Liverpool English Plans.||1 session per week of extended writing in whole school genre.
|2 pieces of extended writing per half term in Topic lessons. One piece per half term must be linked to our whole-school genre. Other pieces may be a variety of genres.|
Whole-school Writing genres change with each half-term:
|Reception||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
|Spring 2||Mix of 3||Non-chronological report||Non-chronological report||Non-chronological report||Non-chronological report||Non-chronological report||Non-chronological report|
|Summer 1||Mix of 3||Narrative||Narrative||Narrative||Persuasion/Discussion||Persuasion/Discussion||Persuasion/Discussion|
|Summer 2||Mix of 3||Mix||Mix||Mix||Mix||Mix||Mix|
Whole School Genre Writing/Big Write
One of the week’s English lessons is given over to a whole school genre writing which we term ‘Big Write’. Different genres are delivered in each half term. This progression from year group to year group is recorded in ‘Big Write’ books which stay with each pupil through their time at school. At the end of each half term children complete an assessment task independently so that teachers can accurately assess their ability to write at a distance from teaching.
At least twice per half term pupils take part in a topic write. This can be in History, Geography, RE or Science. Topic write takes a similar form to Big Write, one piece being based on the current whole-school genre, the other being used to ensure revision of other text types.
Whole School Approach
We recognise that English contributes to most other areas of the school curriculum. The skills pupils learn are developed in and applied to every subject. We encourage the use of good standard throughout the school. Teachers understand that modelling correct grammar, spelling and handwriting is important in helping to raise standards.
Phonics and Spelling
In Key Stage 1 spelling practice is taught weekly alongside Phonics, which follows Letters and Sounds. Spelling is developed through following the Liverpool Spelling Tool Kit with specific spelling rules and patterns for each year group. In Key Stage 2 this spelling practice forms part of the Basic Skills sessions taught weekly. Spelling homework is given out weekly and tested in class.
We have several workshops that run to support writing in school. For more information on these, follow these links:
Ms Swain has also been running a club to encourage boys in KS1 to write for pleasure. Here they are playing football and writing up post-game reports.
How families can support writing development
Parents can make a big difference in helping a child develop writing skills. The start of any good writing is good talk, and younger children especially thrive when adults share experiences and talk about those experiences.
- Read aloud daily to your child. Talk about the pictures. Make predictions about a story and see if they come true. Even as children get older, read aloud a chapter-book before bed.
- Use car time to talk with your children. Tell your children a story about when you were little or tell them a story about something that happened at work that day. Leave off the ending and let them provide an ending.
- Act out stories together and play with toys, talking to each other.
- Let children see you write.
- Leave notes to each other.
- Provide them with materials to write indoors and outdoors. Pens, crayons, felt tips, chalks, paints, paper, card notebooks etc.
- Write thank you notes or letters to friends and family.
- Be creative and encourage your child to write and perform stories or puppet shows.
- You can help your child to begin to make recognisable letters by writing their name on any pictures or early writing they produce. Always begin with a capital letter, but write the rest in lower case letters and only write their first name to start with.
- As writing requires fine motor control to hold a pen or crayon, you can improve your child’s skills by giving them other activities which require similar skills e.g. Lacing cards and threading beads, construction sets, jig-saws, Playdough, big tweezers and opportunities to do up buttons.
Blogging is the next big thing at Kingsley School – soon every year group will have a blog you’ll be able to check out and follow to see what your children are up to and how they feel about current school events.
In the meantime, check out our prototype blog found here.
The following is under construction:
Year 1: https://kcsy1.blogspot.com/
Year 2: https://kcsy2.blogspot.com/
Year 3: https://kcsy3.blogspot.com/
Year 4: https://kcsy4.blogspot.com/
Year 5: https://kcsy5.blogspot.com/
Year 6: https://y6kcs.blogspot.com/
If you want to see our Kingsley School Blog Rules, click here.
Everybody Writes Days
We also have themed days to promote writing – one time we were invaded by aliens. We found a crashed spaceship and some coded messages from our new visitors.
We also reported on dragon sightings across the UK:
Writing produced included dragon attack survival guides, non-chronological reports and descriptive writing.
Last year Liverpool was visited by some rather incredible people. The Giants Spectacular took over the city for several days and drew massive crowds. We were fortunate enough to have the giants walk right past our school.
This amazing experience led to some excellent writing, which we featured in our displays and on our school blog.
Our children regularly visit our forest school area and engage with the outdoors by observing, photographing and growing things themselves. This activities are then used to fuel different genres of writing – from diaries to non-chronological reports and even instruction writing help other young gardeners.
We have tons of visitors who inspire our children to write – recently we’ve have author Tom Palmer and comic book artist Tim Quinn come and give our children workshops on their different approaches to narrative. Tim gave us a look into the world of Marvel comics and how to design compelling characters and villains – some of the adults even joined in!
— Mr Bass (@MrBassComputing) November 30, 2017
Tom Palmer got interviewed by several classes (Year 1 kept him on his toes!) and dished out advice on how we can improve our writing.
— Year1Kingsley (@Year1Kingsley) November 27, 2018
We were also lucky enough to be visited by Catrice Horsley, the Story-telling Laureate. Catrice led a whole school assembly, worked with individual classes, taught a parent workshop and provided a staff meeting for our teachers.
Able Writer Days
Our talented writers are given the opportunity to improve their skills by working with authors and poets for the day, alongside children from other schools in the city.
Some of Year 2 recently got to spend a day with award-winning writer Harriet Goodwin. They got to take part in a variety of writing-based activities and lessons.
At Kingsley School we take pride in our writing and we celebrate it as a whole school. We have a Star Writer of the Week from each class from Reception to Year 6. Our Star Writers are children who have not only created a fantastic piece of writing but also those who have made great progress and given their absolute best effort. Their work is displayed on our Star Writer board, read out in assembly and they receive prizes.
We’d like to introduce you to our Kingsley School Writing Ambassadors.
These children have been selected for their love of writing and often carry out extra duties around the school to support and encourage other children.
Our Key Stage 1 ambassadors have started a postal service within the school, complete with a letter-writing desk. Children can write letters to each other and post them in our post box. That’s when our ambassadors take over and sort the post, before delivering it.
Our writing ambassadors have also been supporting younger children with their writing skills by running workshops on the playground with chalk, clipboards and water. Not only was this educational; it was also great fun!